Assessing our students on their reading to grow their levels.
The Reading & Writing Project explains that "running record assessment forms provide a book introduction, the typed text, a sidebar of reading characteristics, a scoring guide, comprehension questions with sample responses, and space to take notes and to jot student responses." These are texts that are essentially benchmarked from Levels A to Z. Reading A to Z has a Level Correlation Chart that outlines the letter that corresponds to the grade level.
There are examples of how to conduct a running record by Scholastic and Reading A to Z. They provide a clear explanation of how to record on the running record sheet as the student reads the text. The following is one example provided by Scholastic, which outlines notations that can be made on the running record sheet:
How to Take Running Records (Scholastic, p. 2)
Admittedly, I initially struggled with implementing the structure on a regular basis despite all of these resources. To address this, Edutopia has an article 7 Tips to Make Running Records More Manageable and Useful for those interested in learning how to work around the time consuming effort of implementing running records. From my experience, I would recommend against creating a running record file for each student. Instead, teachers can use a one-page sheet that can be attached to their grading records to track the progress of the students on a monthly basis. At the same time, students can record their own progress. I prefer this once-a-month approach because it serves as an assessment while also ensuring that it is easy to navigate as a teacher.
Therefore, I write the name of the students each month to record their current or new level. Specifically, I use time at recess or wherever I have spare time to assess students individually. I refer to the last month's Running Record (Teacher Sheet) to see the students level and give them a running record one level above to start off with. I then make them read one level up or down based on that initial read. I make short hands notes on how the student is reading and then provide the student with one next step to work on. In addition, I only provide students with two or more next steps when applicable and based on my understanding of that student's ability. Most students, however, are most comfortable with just one next step to work on.
Similarly, the student can also record their own progress on the Running Record (Student Sheet). This way, students have a record of what they are working to improve for the next month. In the box above, the teacher can write the level (based on the correlation chart from Reading A to Z) and the goal the student wants to reach for the end-of-the-year (EOY).